Earlier this week I picked up my Valentine’s Day present from my local Aubaine restaurant on Brompton Cross.
It was slightly embarrassing because I had the bf with me and when I told him I needed to pick up a V-Day present, he initially thought it was for him. So I had to explain that this gift was actually from Aubaine themselves to me.
Excited about what was in the box, I opened it as soon as possible to find this peeking back at me:
A chocolate cake I thought and instantly I abandoned any idea of giving up chocolate for Lent. How could I? I love chocolate too much. And so I opened the box further to have a clearer look …
But as I looked closer, I realised it wasn’t a cake. It was actually a box. My present was inside a box made from Valrhona chocolate - but what was inside? Macarons! Macarons delivered in a chocolate box. Could there be anything better for my sweeth tooth?
Inside were two pistachio macarons and two raspberry …
Aubaine’s slogan for Valentine’s Day is “Say It With Flowers Macarons” and I couldn’t agree more. Flowers are always lovely but for Valentine’s, why not try something different? Macarons in a chocolate box is such a delectable experience and who says you can’t give both anyway?
For more information on Aubaine’s Valentine’s Day treats including the chance to win a Tiffany necklace with your V-Day dinner, click here.
Thank you very much Aubaine and Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!
I went to one of the best gigs I’ve ever had the luck of seeing last night: Kraftwerk at the Tate Modern. It was the sixth night in their eight date run of concerts, which you probably heard about with regards to the fans’ desperation to get tickets.
Tate’s website had crashed, the phone lines were jammed and mixed messages were being sent out to those trying to buy their way into one of the most anticipated concerts of recent times. I was on the phone on-and-off for eight hours. Not because I am a die-hard fan but because the bf is and I wanted Kraftwerk at the Tate Modern to be one of his Christmas presents. In the end, I called up the members’ line and was fast-tracked to the booking line, wishing that I had been informed that this was possible in the first place because of course I would have saved a lot of time.
Still, I cannot complain anymore because that day of pressing redial was so very worth it. The bf loved his pressie and a couple of friends who we invited along had an amazing time: the night being described as legendary.
But my write-up of last night’s gig isn’t going to attempt to riff on the geekery of Kraftwerk’s music. I’m not that much of a muso and I’ll probably risk offending die-hard Kraftwerk fans with my limited music knowledge.
So instead I’ll write this post from the perspective of an electro music fan. I love Daft Punk and have done so for years. When I watched Kraftwerk on stage, it was clear that this seminal German group are the Godfathers of electro. You could say that their appearance was reminiscent of Daft Punk’s style in Tron but then again, you would have to remember which came first.
Yet Kraftwerk wasn’t restricted to electro bleeps. There were also deep club beats that were very old school house and there was also a nod to the Detroit electronic music scene. We were almost at the front: not too close so we could enjoy the 3D visuals, but close enough to feel the bass pumping itself into the Turbine Hall.
The sounds had substance, the visuals were a true spectacle that were off-the-scale, and probably to the annoyance of those who couldn’t get tickets, the space was blissfully not crammed. It was an experience to soak up and every single minute was a true wonder.
Kraftwerk have two more nights to go: tonight and tomorrow. And whilst they are officially sold out, I’ve heard that ‘returns’ are being sold on the night. My friend’s cousin managed to buy a return on Saturday night at cost price (£60), having just waited from 8.30pm. The gig starts promptly at 9pm. We also bumped into someone who had bought a returned ticket last night. He had been waiting for two hours because he didn’t want to miss out: Techno Pop is his favourite Kraftwerk album. So, if you are desperate to buy a ticket, it isn’t too late to try – and you may not have to pay £500 or whatever is supposed to be the going price on ebay. Good luck!
To end my post, here are a few pics I took from last night. I took a lot more but sadly, they were too blurry to post.
I also recorded a video of their poptastic track, The Model:
And I uploaded a couple more clips onto my new Vine account: King’s Road Rocks.
Aero Dynamik was one of my favourite tracks of the night. Listening to it on You Tube doesn’t really do it justice but at 1.05 when the bass kicks in, and imagine it pumping hard through the Turbine Hall, Kraftwerk smashed it. (I didn’t record this video.)
If you managed to see Kraftwerk play at Tate Modern, which was your favourite moment (if you could choose one)? Or did you think it was all brilliant?
There are two reasons why I’m excited that it’s Pancake Tuesday tomorrow: 1. I love pancakes and 2. Because Pancake Day is essentially the eve of the first day of Lent, which means the countdown to Easter and thus springtime is about to begin. Oh yes!
Last year I celebrated Shrove Tuesday at The Botanist and I can’t recommend their one-day-only menu enough, especially the foie gras crêpe with wild mushrooms and cauliflower purée. The sweeter specials include blood orange Crêpe Suzette; a caramelised apple crêpe with vanilla ice cream and Calvados syrup; and a banana and chocolate crêpe with pistachio praline. Here is my post, which I wrote last year if you’d like to see some pics.
Unfortunately I’m not going to be able to indulge in pancakes tomorrow: the day looks packed and in the evening I’ll be at the Tate Modern for the Kraftwerk gig. So yesterday I popped into The Botanist to review their American pancakes which are served with cured crispy bacon and maple syrup, to make up for it.
The other week I was somewhere else and when I asked for some bacon on my pancakes, I was given a funny look. I had to explain that it was an American thing and whilst the woman was gracious about the whole confusion, I did feel slightly weird. So needless to say, yesterday I was very happy to be heading somewhere for breakfast that was on the same page as me.
And here is the dish, which is a permanent fixture on The Botanist’s breakfast menu.
The bf ordered the crêpe complète, which is a crêpe served with egg, bacon and gruyere cheese. And I have to admit I had slight food envy because it made me think back to the foie gras crêpe from last year.
For drinks I had an orange juice and a spinach and apple smoothie, which I was dubious about initially but which I actually liked. It wasn’t as spinachy as I’d imagined it would be.
The Botanist’s Shrove Tuesday menu is available for one day only (12th February 2013) but if you don’t get a chance to try it, there is always pancakes on the breakfast menu. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for somewhere new to try for brunch, have you dropped by Honky Tonk yet? I finally got round to trying it over the weekend, despite it being a stone’s throw away and I think it’s worth checking out.
Located on Hollywood Road, this New-York-styled bar and restaurant is quite a refreshing addition to the Chelsea scene. The restaurant’s design has created a nostalgic feel that takes us back to the 50s. And depending on which wall you are facing, you could be forgiven for feeling as if you were supposed to be dining in a large record-playing booth.
I managed to snap these photos when a few tables were cleared within minutes of each other, so the place wasn’t as empty whilst we were eating.
For our brunch, the bf and I both decided to go for a Full House breakfast which included bubble and squeak; tomatoes; a portobello mushroom; smokey barbecued baked beans; toasted brioche; and eggs. I had my eggs poached but I didn’t have my toast, which I donated to the bf’s plate instead.
What I loved about this brunch was that it wasn’t greasy at all. I love a good fry-up but most times I tend to enjoy them at home, replacing baked beans and toast with asparagus and slices of potatoes.
But Honky Tonk’s Full House breakfast won me over. The baked beans were a delightful surprise (because I love that BBQ flavour) and the bubble and squeak was light to eat.
To accompany our food, the bf had a caramel milkshake which he was impressed by whilst I had a freshly squeezed orange juice.
And whilst I had a delicious time here, I’m now curious to see what the evening ambiance has to offer. Honky Tonk has an impressive-looking cocktails menu and the American food menu looks good too. So making sure that we were definitely coming back, I booked a table for in a couple of weeks time as we were leaving. Admittedly I am quietly excited that this new Chelsea hangout is practically on my doorstep and I’d love to see the bar come to life!
I am so excited about writing this post – one just for the ladies! If you fancy feeling spoiled for an afternoon and spending quality time with your girlfriends, then you must read on.
The venue is Bar Galante, which some of you may know is one of my favourite bars in Chelsea and this free women-only event includes treatments from Bliss Spa, who are normally located across the road. You can see their front door from the bar if you sit by one of the windows.
When you arrive, you receive a pair of slippers which you can wear in the bar (a lot of girls did) as well as a goodie bag with Bliss products.
During the afternoon, the Bliss staff are on hand to provide massages and manicures with Essie polish.
This is the colour I picked.
And as well as these spa treatments, there are screens placed around the bar with films playing …
… which you can listen to with the headphones provided. They showed Friends With Benefits and a Ryan Reynolds movie (sorry, I’m not sure what it’s called). In other words, a chick flick and eye candy were provided.
When you arrive at the bar, you also receive a free champagne cocktail. And thereafter, there is a special Sunday Sanctuary cocktail menu which you can order from. The cocktails include Classic Bellini; Breakfast Martini; and Bloody Mary Martini (£10-£12), as well as non-alcoholic cocktails such as Strawberry & Basil Lemonade; Green Martini and Berry Blast (£4.25). I also saw groups of friends order bottles of wine between them. And if you’re feeling peckish, there is also a bar snack menu to order food from.
Some ladies were sitting around and chatting whilst others sat back and watched the movies. Others were enjoying their spa treatments, either listening to the music playing in the bar or whilst watching a film with their headphones on. The whole atmosphere was very chilled and indulgent. In other words it really was the best way to spend a Sunday afternoon in February.
If you’re interested in booking a table for you and your girlfriends, all you have to do is email RSVP@BARGALANTE.COM. There are two time slots: 1pm and 3pm and like I said, this is a free event. So I just have to ask, what’s stopping you?